Friday 16 August 2013

New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay

Rain Mackenzie became aware of the angry voices long before she opened her eyes. They buzzed in and out of her consciousness like wasps, stinging her with their murmured accusations, which she couldn’t quite understand. She wanted to shout at them to shut up because the shrill tones were hurting her head. Stabbing it like a knife, in fact, every blow more painful than the last. She couldn’t remember ever having a headache this bad before and she wished she could just sink back into oblivion again.
Published by Choc Lit on August 7th 2013
Pages – 202
Goodreads Summary
When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment.Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn't t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin Jesse is the hottest guy Rain s ever seen and he plays guitar in an awesome rock band!There s just one small problem Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse grow closer.But, what does it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn't t plan on sticking around Does she?
I’ll hold my hands up to being slightly dubious before reading this book as to whether well known historical romance author Christina Courtenay could pull off not only a contemporary book but a Young Adult one at that. From the first couple of paragraphs any doubts I had flew straight out the window because I knew I was going to love this book. I loved it so much I was extremely upset when I’d finished reading it, and impatience has now set in as I wait for more YA offerings from Christina Courtenay. This is the first book in a trilogy, however I get the impression the books will be more companion novels, so they probably won’t need to be read in order.
Rain Mackenzie is a member of the British aristocracy and is shipped off to New England after being caught in bed with her boyfriend while at boarding school. She comes across as moody and brattish to begin with, but  as soon as she meets Jesse, your feelings towards her change. Jesse is officially hot! He is the bad boy from the wrong the side of the tracks and you are desperate for him to sort his love life out and date Rain.  I love the way this book mixes social classes and shows how money doesn’t always result in snobbery.  You would imagine Rain’s family to be rather stuck up as they are rolling in money, but that is so far from the truth – they are warm, caring and take to Jesse quite quickly.
Christina Courtenay writes in a similar fashion to Abbi Glines, only there is substantially less sex involved. The female characters are strong, yet they also show a great deal of vulnerability. The male characters have a bad streak within them, which gets watered down when ever they meet the right girl.  The author knows how to write a good love story and I was rooting for this couple right from the very start.  Add in the rock music element and the story just dazzles you.
If I had to compare it to something, I would say it’s like a reversal of Wild Child starring  Emma Roberts. Instead of the wild American child coming to the UK, the wild English child takes New England by storm.
I really really loved this book and I want to congratulate Christina Courtenay on her Young Adult debut. Also congrats to Choc Lit for publishing an outstanding Young Adult book for their first venture into this genre.

1 comment:

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